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Assessments of Reading, Writing and Mathematics,
Primary Division (Grades 1–3) and Junior Division (Grades 4–6)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do EQAO's assessments benefit teachers?

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    The assessments give teachers important information about strengths and areas for improvement in their students' learning. Since teachers administer the assessments, the tests also provide opportunities for them to observe how their students solve problems and answer questions. This is valuable information that can be used in program planning. In addition, many teachers and principals across Ontario are actively involved in developing, field testing and marking the assessments. These experiences provide excellent professional development in curriculum and assessment and give teachers and principals opportunities to share assessment strategies and practices with colleagues.

  2. What are the Grade 3 and Grade 6 assessments based on?

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    They are based on the reading, writing and mathematics expectations in The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1–8.

  3. How does EQAO report the results of the Grade 3 and Grade 6 assessments?

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    EQAO reports on student achievement at the individual, school, board and provincial levels.

    Each student will receive an Individual Student Report that provides information about the student’s achievement. This information will assist students, parents and teachers in developing individual plans for successful learning.

    Schools and boards will receive a report that provides aggregated achievement results and aggregated contextual data from student, teacher and principal questionnaires.

  4. How do boards and schools use the results?

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    The reports provide detailed information about the results of the assessments. Students, parents and teachers can use this information to improve student learning.

    The reports provide information that educators can use to ensure that classroom programs and instructional strategies are designed effectively. They can also be used in researching student achievement.

  5. What is EQAO's policy on ranking schools?

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    EQAO is opposed to the ranking of schools or school boards. Rankings tell us nothing about why scores are high or low. They invite simplistic and misleading comparisons that ignore the particular circumstances affecting achievement in each school. Ranking tends to distract people from addressing the critical issue of how to improve learning for all students.

  6. Can school boards or individual students choose not to participate in an assessment?

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    No. The legislation that established EQAO (Bill 30) requires all students in publicly funded schools to participate in provincial assessments. Students are exempted or accommodated on an individual basis and only for reasons outlined in EQAO's policies on exemptions and accommodations. Students in special education programs, unless exempted, are required to participate in provincial assessments. Accommodations are provided according to the student's needs and EQAO’s policy. Accommodations include assistance with pacing, a quiet work place, a different format for assessment tasks (e.g., Braille text) and the use of various technological resources (e.g., voice-activated computer).

  7. If a student has recently arrived from another province or country, is he or she required to write the assessment?

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    Yes. However, the principal may give permission for one or more special provisions or an exemption.

  8. Are the four levels of achievement used on the Individual Student Report aligned with those on the Ontario Provincial Report Card?

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    Yes. The four levels of achievement that EQAO uses to report student results are based on the four levels in The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1–8 and are aligned with those on the Ontario Provincial Report Card. EQAO uses one additional reporting designation, Not Enough Evidence of Level 1 (NE1).

  9. Why can't French Immersion students write the same assessment as the students in French-language schools?

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    French Immersion programs are offered in English-language school boards across Ontario. The students are taught the same curriculum as the English-language students. Students enrolled in French-language schools are taught the French-language curriculum, which reflects aspects of Franco-Ontarian culture that are generally unfamiliar to students in English-language schools.

  10. What material is provided to schools after the booklets have been scored?

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    Schools receive Item Information Reports at the School, Board, Province and Student level. Questions used to determine student achievement levels, and their scoring guides, will be posted on the EQAO web-site.

  11. Is EQAO allowed to collect information from teachers, principals and students through the questionnaires?

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    Yes. Subsection 9(6) of the Education Quality and Accountability Act authorizes EQAO to collect information that is relevant to its mandate. The questionnaires are all completed anonymously. EQAO tabulates the questionnaire responses and presents findings for schools, school boards and the province as a whole. EQAO respects provincial privacy legislation and does not release data if it would be possible for someone to trace the data to particular respondents.

  12. What is the purpose of the questionnaires?

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    The questionnaire data shed light on the factors inside and outside the classroom that affect student achievement. Since student achievement is affected by many factors, educators, parents and the public need to consider the contextual data from the questionnaires in order to use the assessment results responsibly and constructively.

Education Quality and Accountability Office, Suite 1200, 2 Carlton Street, Toronto ON  M5B 2M9  
Telephone: 1-888-327-7377   •   Fax: 416-325-0831
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